Skip to main content

Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

See other formats


354                                                                      RAPID POPULATION GROWTH-II
On the national level, rising levels of education, particularly if linked to effective publicity about the problems of rapid population growth, can lead to growing public support for a government policy to lower the rate of population growth.* Once such a policy is established, its effectiveness is enhanced among a literate population by use of posters, newspapers, and magazine articles to disseminate information about family planning. Children can be made aware in the schools, too, of population problems and the possibility of planning family size.
Apart from its direct links with fertility levels, education contributes to the general process of socioeconomic development,' which in turn creates the conditions in which a decline in fertility is likely to come about. For example, a rising proportion of children in school subsequently results in higher literacy levels which facilitate the more rapid dissemination of many kinds of social change (52). It also results in a better educated labor force,? which in turn spells more rapid economic development. The need for educated manpower in those areas of the economy where modern technology reigns supreme-for example, large-scale manufacturing and banking—is clear enough. However, the importance of education in other areas of the economy, and particularly in the process of transforming traditional agriculture, is now well recognized (53, 54).
The process of economic development contributes to a decline in fertility in many and complex ways. For a more detailed discussion see other chapters of this book.S
A decline in fertility has a number of effects at the family level which are conducive to economic development. These effects, too, are discussed in
in particular, in rural areas in Mysore state, India, according to the Mysore Population Study, and in rural areas of the U.A.R., fertility was found to be lower among those with no education than among those with primary school education. The generally very clear inverse relationship between education and fertility in these studies would appear to contradict the statement in the United Nations' Population Bulletin No. 7 (48, published before most of these research findings became available) that "where negative associations have been found between fertility and educational level or other socio-economic indicators in high-fertility countries, such associations have generally appeared to be weaker and less consistent than they are in low-fertility countries."
*Berelson has shown that size of population and the level of mass education are the two factors most closely associated with either the adoption of a national family planning program, or at least some government involvement in family planning activities (49).
I As examples of studies showing the statistical association between education and economic growth, see (50, 51).
* Given the same rise in the proportion of children in school, there is little difference